I serve a RISEN Savior who is alive in me through the Holy Spirit.
How about you?
Let His Light Shine!
These images of Christ are my favorites.
I am wearing a red sweatshirt today that has a bright yellow sun in the upper left, with blue, yellow, and white flowers in the middle bottom. The words on the upper right say, “Kids make the day BRIGHTER!” The letter are in green to match the flowers’ leaves, and in yellow to match the bright sunshine.
On Easter Sunday we were expecting our granddaughter with her husband and two children. We hadn’t seen our granddaughter and her littlest one since before Christmas. They were scheduled to come at 2:00 pm for Easter dinner. No way we imagined they could come to walk with us at Easter sunrise. They live an hour away. But, coming for lunch would be wonderful.
At 1:00 pm I received a call from her husband. They had two or three reasons why I should not expect them after all. The table was set; the Easter gifts there; the Easter eggs with chocolates inside them were hidden in the downstairs music/game room. I was beyond disappointed. But, he said they would come on Wednesday instead. They’d be here at 11:00 am, he said.
Today is Wednesday. At 10:30 I got a call. I thought it was probably them saying they are on their way. No, that wasn’t the message. Instead, it was my grandson-in-law telling me my granddaughter is at the hospital. She can’t come. I won’t post here the reason. Suffice to say, she needs our prayers. I don’t know if he left her there (so she is in the hospital) or if he took her home … but he said he is coming with the kids without her.
Take a look again at those pencil drawings of Jesus. Which one is closest to the age of my great-grandchildren?
The second one… the one he is tickling could be my great-grandson. Make that big sister over His shoulder into a little sister. My great-grandkids are 3 and 5. Imagine Bob & me with them this afternoon. Pray that we can make them feel as happy as Jesus makes all those children feel.
Christ is alive in us. We have the love, joy, and peace of the Holy Spirit. He gave it to us. Lord, help us pass it on, OK?
Kids DO make the day brighter. Help us make their day brighter, too, OK?
They were this little two years ago when we took the to lunch here in Ennis around Christmas time. I posted the following photo of me with my great-granddaughter last Christmas when we met them up in Big Sky and had lunch together there – just the kids and their mom. Their dad couldn’t join us.
It was summer time when we saw them before that. Their mom & grandma (our daughter-in-law) are in this photo.
This time it’s just the dad and kids and the mom can’t join us. We look forward to the day when we can ALL be together again!
I’ll post this evening to show you how they have grown now (God willing)… we are waiting for them now.
Pray with me, will you? Lord (our Living Savior), guide their daddy and the children safely to their great-grandparents in Ennis, MT today. Please. Thank you! Amen.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
When we badmouth our bodies, we are insulting God, don’t you think?
Last week when our Presbyterian Women met, the Bible lesson we studied was the story of Bathsheba. It pointed out the secular take on who Bathsheba was may be flawed. Instead of a gorgeous seductress, she may have been the victim. Hollywood’s version of her is the perfectly gorgeous Rita Hayward.
Is that how you see Bathsheba?
The artists who have painted her have a different version:
I much prefer this one! A little bit of a double chin, a poochy stomach, and hefty thighs. Yes, I can relate! Now don’t you think she was fearfully and wonderfully made?
We’re all different in our body type – and yet God says we all are beautiful, lovable, and created in His image. Do you believe that about yourself? Even if you’re not perfect?
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Did you hear that? “… as yourself.”
Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Accept God’s love. Love yourself … and then You can love others!
There are bodies of all shapes and sizes – All are made in God’s image – All are fearfully and wonderfully made!
And – hey guys, You don’t have to have a six-pack to be considered handsome!
Those old Charles Atlas ads are outdated – and those muscles don’t make the man!
That guy on the left is my Bob at the time we met – – – and his brother, Bill, on the right. They don’t look like that today, but they still are fearfully and wonderfully made – and their bodies have lasted into their mid-80’s!
Hah! Here’s Bob celebrating his 80th a few years ago with his younger brother, Bruce, and his brother-in-law, Stan. When asked, “What makes the man?”
Bob answered, “Character! A man who says what he’ll do and does what he says. A man of his word.”
Being fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God means you are made a hero because you are made with the characteristics of heroism.
12 Characteristics of Heroism
Filled with Conviction
Exhibiting Moral integrity
And that’s not just for you guys out there. Those are the qualities of a woman made in God’s image, too!
Add faithful to that list… It’s a part of honesty and being inspirational and moral integrity.
It’s faith that gives you that character Bob was talking about!
May God bless you today – Your mind and your body – Know for sure, my friends, you are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing) Hugs!
Where would we be without the helpers in our lives? Yesterday a young lady came and helped me clean my house. Climbing ladders to get to light fixtures and getting down on my hands and knees to do floors is just not in the cards for this 82-year-old body any more. God bless my helper!
While I was getting help inside, Bob had two helpers out in the yard. Like my inability to climb ladders and spend time on my knees, Bob has discovered that his body has some new limitations, too. It’s just not wise for him to try to trim the trees or do all the weeding and hedging on his own. Thank God for the young, strong helpers who are willing to come and lend a hand!
Our daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland, had need of repair this week. She had polyps in her uterus. Thank God, they were benign, but they needed to be removed. Thanks to the “helper” who used her gold dust to repair/scrape De’s uterus and bring her back to full health… more beautiful than ever!
Just as we need help with the physical work as we add years to our bodies, so do we need help with tasks that are beyond our skill levels.
Today our daughter, Laina, discovered a problem she couldn’t fix. A neighbor’s tree had lost a limb during a recent storm, and the limb crashed through her guest bedroom window. With the help of a gracious and talented helper, she now has a new double-paned glass. Thank God for helpers!
I am reading a book titled, “Life is Messy” by Matthew Kelly. In it he describes the Japanese art of Kintsugi. It is repairing broken objects with glue that has gold in it.
He wrote, “When a vase or bowl or cup is broken, artists gather up the broken pieces and glue them back together. …They mix gold dust with the glue. They don’t try to hide the cracks. They own them, honor them, even accentuate them.”
Matthew Kelly’s point in bringing in the concept of Kintsugi is that we all are broken and in need of repair.
He asks the question, “Can someone who has been broken be healed, and become more beautiful and more lovable than every before?”
And his resounding YES is illustrated by these repaired bowls.
He makes this point very clear: “We are each other’s wounded healers. We posses the gold dust needed to glue other people back together, making them more beautiful and lovable than ever.”
Where would we be without the helpers in our lives? Our broken souls would remain broken… and Our sad hearts would break in two… without those who love us with their gold dust of love that glues us back together again!
Embrace Helpers… Those who help us clean, Those who help us garden, Those who repair our cars or fix our broken windows… Those who help us heal… God bless them all!
God bless YOU for being a helper.
I made sandwiches for those young people who were out there helping Bob with his yard work. We each can do our part – we all can be helpers!
How did you use your gold dust to help someone else today?
I’m on an art kick these days. Can you tell? Various artists out in WordPress Land have been relating to my blogs in the last couple of days about our Ennis Arts Festival and the 50+ artists who exhibited their talents there.
I am not a person who identifies myself as an artist. An art supporter, yes. But an artist, wellllll … that’s questionable. But, music is an art – and I play the accordion and clarinet and I love to sing. My love of and pursuit of music makes me an artist, right?
Also, I love to cook. Culinary arts count, right?
How about writing? Is it an art? You know I love to write.
In addition to writing, I do love to doodle. I just discovered a new term: Deep Doodle!!
What is a deep doodle?
Well, it is a sketch or drawing that comes from your unconscious mind without your conscious mind interfering. Think of it as what doodles usually are but in an extended way and coming from a deeper place.
How about you? Are you a deep doodler?
A useful comparison is the idea of automatic writing where writers just start scribbling down ideas in a kind of flow state without thinking intentionally about what they are writing. Deep doodling is the artist’s version, allowing for a spontaneous flow of art free of organization and forethought. Does that sound weird or fun to you? Perhaps both!
Have fun expressing your artistic inclinations in whatever way that makes you feel creative! You know we all are formed as creative beings, endowed with talents we have not begun to explore. Do you have a latent talent? What is it?
You are born to be creative. Where does your untapped creativity lie?
Maybe it is Deep Doodling! Release it! Embrace it!
Listen to this Ted Talk about the “Hidden Path to Creativity.”
When you can look with fresh eyes at old data, the creativity occurs. Surrender your old preconceptions!
Deep Doodling allows you to look with fresh eyes – pushing forward into heretofore uncharted territory!
Deep Doodling connects you to Ah-Hah moments – Let the scales fall from your eyes. Develop the ability to hold focused awareness!
Let what is unclear become clear as you let that still small voice emerge in your doodling! Explicate & replicate!
You can create powerful change! Create something that produces wellness!
Invoke and pull out the insights that allow you to make choices that prepare you for a better future.
Unleash your creativity! Unleash deep doodling and let it draw you in to uncharted waters!
Tell me about the ways you use your creativity to enter uncharted waters.
Happy Deep Doodling, my friends. See you tomorrow (God willing).
Today was our Madison Valley 25th annual Arts Festival. (well… almost annual… we had to cancel it last year because of COVID). Nearly 50 artists from Montana and Idaho gathered here in Ennis to treat us with their displayed talents. It was a delightful day. Come and join me to enjoy the festival vicariously.
Here are some of the artists:
Maybe next year at this time, you can can to come to Ennis and help us celebrate our 50 year anniversary as an Ennis Arts Association. I’d love to house a bunch of my Word Press friends and have us enjoy the festivities together! Think about it!
Thanks for taking my Art Festival tour with me. Which kind of art do you like best?
When are you the most creative? Where do your creative juices flow most freely? What’s your God-given creative talent?
I am not a painter. I may have some latent talent there, but I have never developed it.
Do you have hidden talents that you have not fully explored?
When children are given the tools and the examples early in life, often that becomes the springboard for a life of artistic talent shared.
No one told me that my scribbles might lead to a creative talent that would be appreciated by others!
But, I was encouraged to sing as a child. That was a talent that did not go unnoticed. How could you ignore it when I was a 3-year-old singing “Appo-Tee, Appo-Tee, AppoTee” all the way through the hymns at church. Singing loudly and joyfully!
Hah! It was during the time of WWII and a popular song was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me).”
You’re probably not old enough to remember it!! Go ahead, click on it here. You’ll love it!!
So how did my “Appo Tee” singing graduate into a full-blown creative talent? Like any talent, it takes involvement, participation, practice.
I have been a member of a choir for as long as I can remember… … always in school, then in church, and eventually our community choir. I am not a soloist, but I love singing in a duet or trio or with a large group. Recently our church choir was able to start up again… it is such a joy!
Once I even got to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during one of their dress rehearsals for their Christmas concert!
The rendition below of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” was sung by the University of the Pacific Choir at Bob’s and my wedding 2/11/62. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle singing it. I love it so much!
If your talent is not singing or painting, maybe you developed a talent in another area – like cooking or woodworking or metal sculpture.
Of course, one major talent I forgot mention Is instrumental music … the piano or a woodwind or string or brass instrument… Such talent brings so much joy to the player as well to a world of listeners.
I played the accordion and the clarinet as a child and continued to do so until just recently. My accordion is not functioning, there’s a hole in the bellows.
Perhaps I will find another small accordion that I can handle… and will resume that creative endeavor. The children at the day care center and the residents at our local Nursing Home enjoyed it!
Here’s just a small clip – (it’s only 10 seconds!!) of me playing for the residents at my sister’s place in PA a couple of years ago. (I won’t burden you with too much of this!) Hah!
My cousin always used to send me comic strips about the accordion. One was a guy entering heaven and the angel said, “Welcome to Heaven, here’s your harp.” The other was a gal entering Hades. The angel greeted her and said, “Welcome to Hell, here’s your accordion.”
Hah! I miss Cliff and those jokes!!
The question remains: What are your God-given talents? Have you developed an area of creativity?
I forgot to mention writing!! Us bloggers imagine ourselves to have that talent or else we wouldn’t be posting here on WordPress, right?
But, even this writing talent doesn’t improve without practice, right? Never stop learning and trying to improve – regardless of the area of creativity… gardening & photography (Derrick) – poetry (Dwight, Richard, Pat, Rahul, etc.) cooking (Andre’ & Caralyn) You know who you are… and what you need to do!
Our library was having a book sale last week. For a dollar, I was able to buy this wonderful book. Copyrighted 20 years ago, it’s never outdated, and I can never stop learning how to be a better writer. Like any talent, it takes practice, study, and more practice. And feedback always helps!
Roses are red. Violets are pink. I’m an emerging poet. Man, don’t I stink?
No, don’t badmouth yourself!! Keep workin’ at it…
Embrace Creativity! Tell me about yours…
Thanks for sharing! See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love, JanBeek
In my reading this morning, These Days – Daily Devotionals for Living by Faith, I was inspired by the commentary of Robin Gallaher Branch of Memphis, Tennessee. The scripture that motivated her thoughts was from Ezekiel 1-2:1
The word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar, and the hand of the Lord was on him there.
What Does That Scripture Mean?
Study that painting. Obviously artists have been inspired by this scripture. But somehow, as I read it again, the depth of its meaning escaped me. I was not quite sure what to make of it. Robin Branch, on the other hand, saw “A Vision is a Divine Interruption.”
She wrote, “I tell my students this: Expect Divine Interruptions.”
Why? Because they occur regularly in the Bible.
And that is what she understood was happening to Ezekiel in this passage. She wrote, “He was minding his own business when the heavens suddenly opened.”
Another artist depicted the scene this way:
Wow! Robin Branch describes it in words, “He saw four living creatures in human-like forms. Each had four faces: those of human being, lion, ox, and eagle… When the creatures moved, their wings sounded like mighty waters.”
What did he do? Ezekiel’s response was, “I fell on my face.” (verse 28)
God Interrupts Our Lives
Ezekiel shows us what to do when God interrupts our lives with a vision, a dream, or an angelic encounter. Worship and wait to be addressed!
But, how many of us have had God present Himself to us in a vision or a dream or an angelic encounter?
Maybe more of us than we realize! Do we open our eyes and hearts to recognize those defining moments? Do we see the angels in our midst? Do we know God makes divine appointments with us? Do we feel His presence?
Live in Expectancy
Do you live in a state of expectation, looking to see God in others? Do you know God is making broken things brand new? I see God in you! I see God in the defining moments of my life.
Daily Word, a Unity Publication, provides a daily word (or words) to ponder. It has a short devotional to enhance the word. Today’s word was “Expectation.” In the commentary, the title was, “Expectation keeps my mind positive and my heart full.
“Living in a state of expectancy kindles a quiet excitement in my heart, keeping me passionate about life.”
If I live in expectancy, I encounter defining moments …
Moments that define us are often not recognized until years later.
What are Defining Moments?
Of course, if you are married happily, you know a defining moment in your life is your wedding. That one is easy to recognize.
Defining moments are those that impact you, change your direction, or reinforce it. They change your thinking. They wake you up to an Ah-hah moment, or they sit quietly in your subconscious – ready for the day you are prepared to recognize their impact and put their lesson to work in your life.
I asked Bob, as we were together in our sanctuary this morning, doing our Bible Study and devotionals, “What are the defining moments of your life?”
Right away, he said, “Our wedding day.”
See, I told you.. that one’s a given. Especially for folks like us who have stuck it out through thick and thin for 59 years!
Not All Are Positive
Not all of your defining moments are going to be the mountaintop experiences. Some are experienced in the valleys of our lives.
One of mine was when I had a burst appendix. I thought I was constipated and that’s why I ached so much. I tried laxatives. I tried a therapeutic massage. It just got worse. Finally the pain was so intense, I couldn’t sleep and I was crying out. Bob took me at midnight to the emergency room in the hospital just 5 minutes from home. They ran a bunch of tests, took x-rays, thought it was diverticulitis. Sent the x-rays to the larger hospital in Bozeman (an hour’s drive away). The doctors there looked at them and called to say, “Get that lady in here right now! She has a burst appendix.”
Why was this a “defining moment”? A dear lady (one of our medical center volunteers named Donna) road with me in the ambulance to Bozeman held my hand and prayed with me the whole way. She was an angel on earth! She helped me survive the painful ride to the hospital. Once there, the doctors told me I could have died. At my age (I was 79 or 80), many don’t survive such an ordeal.
it’s probably not a good idea to ignore excruciating pain or self-medicate
it’s not wise to diagnose your own ailment
a prayer angel can make all the difference between life/death and comfort/agony
Some Defining Moments are Very Positive
A mountaintop defining moment for me occurred when I was only 16 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. I was attending a summer “Music Therapy Clinic” at the College of the Pacific. One of our participants was a little boy named Jeremy. He about 4 years old and had never spoken. He had a voice. He could scream when he was upset. He could moan. He could whimper. But he had not spoken any words.
My music therapy counselor/teacher, Mrs. Harbert, was playing the piano. We all were sitting on the floor in a circle. Each of us had a child in our lap. Mine was Jeremy. Mrs. Harbert was playing a non-sensical, very rhythmic song. Its only word was “Hospodipomilwi.”
I bounced Jeremy on my lap and sang quietly in his ear.
All of a sudden, Jeremy began to sing!! “Hospodipomilwi”
A year or so later, I saw Jeremy and his mom when I was shopping near the college. She said, “I can’t believe I used to pray for him to speak. Now I can’t get him to stop talking!”
There is no greater thrill than to help a needy child
Music is magical
I wanted a career where I could work with children and music
God’s Divine Interruptions Change Us
We were living in California. Bob was still working as a beekeeper. I was retired. He wasn’t sure he was ready to retire yet, but we talked about it. We didn’t know where we wanted to live after his retirement, but we were pretty sure we didn’t want to stay in California. The state was growing in population faster than the the infra-structure could handle the numbers.
Then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Life changed. We changed.
I won’t take you through the whole three year process, just suffice to say, it was a defining moment! His cancer caused us to reevaluate where we were, who we were, and where we wanted to be.
It is the reason we now live in this place we call God’s Country, Ennis Montana.
The Road of Life is Filled with Defining Moments
The road of life is filled with highs, lows, mountaintops and valleys, potholes and gravel.
When life knocks you down, when you are going along minding your own business and the heavens open up, or the bridge collapses and you fall into a crevice, remember Ezekiel.
He fell on his face. He called out to God. He waited for God to direct him.
Let God’s still small voice direct you. Like my Donna, watch for the angels all around you.
Let His strength illuminate your path. Like Josh Williams, see God in others and let their strength encourage you.
Let the defining moments speak to you. Like Jeremy, find your voice and sing! Hos-po-di-po-mil-wi
What is your purpose? Has anyone asked you that question recently? Have you asked it of yourself?
Another way to ask the question is: What is my life’s goal?
When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday He responded, “To give God credit for everything.”
We talked about the difference between Internal and external purposes.
Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.
Externally, how do we show or express it?
Bob responded, “Accept your lot without complaints” and “Be His hands and feet – Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”
Like these mountains, Life and purpose have so many layers.
What is God’s purpose for me?
This is the prayer I pray each morning before I leave my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:
Guide my feet in Your Way today. Help me meet who You want me to meet. Tell me what You want me to say, And keep me out of Your way!
Help me be who You made me to be. And teach me to be still So I can know what You want me to do. Help me walk in You Will.”
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:
“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need. The time to share is now so that everyone will know the Love of God.
By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory, we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.
Whether singing worship music, reading devotionals aloud, or writing about God, I am given opportunities to help the whole world know and develop a closer relationship with God.”
That’s my purpose! Share the love, joy and peace that are mine through Christ.
I want everyone to feel it!!
Father, please give me the words to share so everyone will know you.
In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today, the message fit this topic perfectly. Cynthia Ruchti, wrote
“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”
She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked. Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for… discussion.”
“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant that … the foundational layer of our souls has to be built plumb and true, more meticulously than anything that will come after.”
“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers. If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises, anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance of aligning with His purpose for us.
We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”
I aim to be inspired by His Word, His Life, His Love, His Gift of Grace, and His Purpose for my life.
(That’s the internal purpose)
Externally, my purpose is to share that love, joy, peace, faith and unity that are mine… with the hope that you are inspired to share it, too!
Is anything in your house noticeably crooked? When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it! Look up!
Use it as a reminder of the importance of building your life of faith on Jesus and the meaning of the cross. Jesus is plumb and true, and by His death on the cross, you are, too!!
What is your purpose? What inspires you to live according to your purpose?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing)